Blog Car Care Advice Fuel Line Leak: 5 Red Flags + Is it Safe to Drive?
Car Care Advice

Fuel Line Leak: 5 Red Flags + Is it Safe to Drive?

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Picture this: You walk up to your car, and there’s a suspicious puddle of gasoline on the ground, with a strong fuel smell in the air. 

Well, it could be the tell-tale signs of a leaking fuel line — a problem that’s easy to miss but pretty dangerous.

Wondering what caused your fuel line to leak?
Don’t worry — we’ve got all the answers!

Read on to find out how you can spot a fuel line leak before it’s too late, other sources of fuel leaks, and if it’s safe to drive with one.  

This Article Contains:

5 Warning Signs of a Fuel Line Leak

Whether you have a metal line or a plastic line, here are a few leaky fuel line symptoms you should look out for:

1. Smell of Fuel

Notice the pungent smell of gasoline in and around your vehicle?
You might have a fuel leak. 

And if your gas tank and other fuel system components work fine, your fuel lines may be the culprit. 

Important: Inhaling gasoline can lead to several health hazards, including respiratory issues. That’s why you shouldn’t take the gasoline smell lightly and get your car fixed ASAP. 

2. Visible Fuel Leaks

If you have a fuel line leak while driving, it can spray fuel around and leave puddles on the road. Your engine might also stop working due to the decreased fuel pressure in the fuel injection system. 

However, smaller leaks are harder to spot as the fuel evaporates quickly. So keep an eye out for drops or small gasoline puddles under your vehicle. 

Now, transmission fluid, engine oil, and other car liquids can also puddle underneath your car. 

So, how do you identify a gasoline puddle?
Gasoline puddles are usually clear with a thin consistency. To help you identify gasoline puddles easily, add a fuel-safe dye to your gas tank.

Once you confirm a gas leak, first stay safe — move away from the puddle and avoid any flames or sparks. Also, turn off the car’s engine to prevent further fuel leakage and call a mechanic.

3. You Hear a Hissing Sound

A leaky fuel line usually makes a hissing sound when the fuel escapes. It’s almost similar to the sound of air escaping the tire. 

You’ll notice it the most when the engine is idle or after you turn it off.  

4. Reduced Engine Performance

The fuel line is responsible for delivering the correct air-fuel mixture to the engine. 

A damaged fuel line will disrupt this balance — meaning you’ll most likely have too much air and too little fuel in the combustion chamber. This imbalance can make the engine run inefficiently, resulting in a range of issues like misfires, unexpected power loss, and rough idle

In severe cases, it can overheat and damage the engine.

5. The Engine Light is On

Multiple sensors can turn on the check engine light in case of a leaking fuel line. 

For example, oxygen sensors in the exhaust system might notice an imbalance in the air-fuel ratio caused by the leak and trigger the check engine light.

However, the check engine light can indicate various problems in the fuel system or other parts. If it turns on along with other signs like a gasoline smell or a hissing noise, you might have a leaky fuel line.

But why does a fuel line leak happen?

6 Potential Causes of a Fuel Line Leak

Here are a few reasons why you might have a leaky fuel line: 

  1. Corrosion: Over time, exposure to moisture, salt, and road debris can cause fuel lines to rust and leak.
  1. Aging and wear: As cars get older, their fuel lines can wear out, break, and leak gasoline, especially if they are a metal or rubber line.
  1. Permeation in soft and flexible hoses: With time, fuel can soak into the hose and weaken it, leading to cracks and leaks.
  1. Physical damage: Accidental damage from road debris, accidents, or improper handling during maintenance can puncture and damage fuel lines.
  1. Vibration: Vibrations from the engine or driving can wear out fuel lines, causing them to crack or weaken their connections.
  1. Manufacturing defects: Sometimes, manufacturing defects or using low-quality materials can weaken the fuel lines.

Next, let’s find out if you can drive with a leaky fuel line.   

Is it Safe to Drive with a Fuel Line Leak?

No, it’s not safe to drive with even a small fuel leak, as a tiny spark can set the gasoline on fire. Driving with gas leaks also means you’ll spend more money on fuel, pollute the environment, and damage other vital engine parts like the exhaust system. 

That’s why it’s important to pull over and get a mechanic to fix your fuel leaks ASAP.

Got more questions?
We’ve got you covered!

3 Key FAQs on Fuel Lines

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about fuel line issues:

1. What are Fuel Lines?

Fuel lines are fuel hoses or tubes that carry liquid gasoline or fuel vapor from the tank to the engine. 

Most fuel lines are made of reinforced rubber hose, designed to resist excessive bending and splitting, as well as to withstand the chemicals and fuel pressure. Some vehicles also have a metal hard line (in sections where flexible lines aren’t needed) or a plastic fuel line. 

2. What Are Some Other Sources of Fuel Leaks?

Here are the other reasons why your fuel system has gas leaks:

3. How Much Does a Fuel Line Replacement Cost?

The cost of fuel line replacement depends on your vehicle model, fuel line type, parts that need replacing (clamp or quick connector), and the local labor charges. 

Taking these factors into account, a fuel line replacement can cost you anywhere from $300 to $1000. 

Fix Your Fuel Line with AutoNation Mobile Services

Whether you have a rubber line or a plastic line, if you spot a gasoline puddle and think you’re visiting gas stations more than you should — you need to take a good look at your fuel lines. 

However, that’s no easy feat, nor is it safe to check and fix your fuel lines on your own.

That’s why you need the help of expert professionals like AutoNation Mobile Service.
We’re a mobile auto repair and maintenance service available seven days a week. We offer upfront pricing, convenient online booking, and a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty on all repairs.

Get in touch with us, and we’ll fix your fuel line right at your doorstep.